“LARGO DAS CARVALHAS”: a bet on the qualification of Mangualde’s civic center
A noble , central and significant space for the city, inducer of urban life and dynamics, in social and economic valences. This is how the “Largo das Carvalhas” is presented, in Mangualde Municipality, after a requalification process.
«The requalification of Largo das Carvalhas is a bet on the improvement of conditions for its inhabitants and for those who visit Mangualde’s urban center.», guarantees the architect and urban planner responsible for the project, José António Lopes, from the architecture office ad quadratum arquitectos.
The proposal had as main objective the improvement and qualification of one of the most emblematic and significant public space of Mangualde, in a perspective of true public enjoyment, in conditions of safety, comfort, usability and accesibility for all.
In addition to the requalification of the urban design and reconfiguration of public space, the project included the construction of a sanitary support and maintenace building. «The qualification of the public space was made with recourse to careful investment in urban design, combining configuration solutions and materials appropriate to the adjacente urban and historical framework.», said José António Lopes.
The reorganization of the space, maintaining the possibility of using it for car parking, provided a capacity of 84 spaces, structured organized in a way that is compatible with the qualified multipurpose use of the public space by other functions and users.
A NOBLE, CENTRAL AND SIGNIFICANT SPACE FOR THE CITY
The intervention proceeded with rigor and respect for a careful urban design in the context of hictoric city.
«The configuration of a central space with the urban protagonism that this assumes, required the design of solutions that could enhance a wide variety of valences of its uses.», said José António Lopes, considering that «the requalification project of Largo das Carvalhas allowed to provide the city with conditions for a more qualified use, framing several valences, including the regulation of car parking, the possibility to hosting the assembly of exhibitions and urban fairs and framing leisure equipment and enjoyment of all, constituting also as a “visiting room” of the major events that the municipality of Mangualde hosts.»
MANGUALDE OFFERS BETTER CONDITIONS FOR MANGUALDENSES AND FOR THOSE WHO VISIT THE CITY’S URBAN CENTER
Another example is the requalification project of the “Adro da Igreja da Misericórdia e Largo do Complexo Paroquial”, an intervention that was imposed by the obvious obsolescence of the spaces and reduced capacity for qualified use, generalized degradation of the sidewalks and street furniture, as well as the widespread existence of architectural barriers preventing full accessibility and use of the spaces by citizens with limited mobility.
The patio of the Igreja da Misericórdia was also the target of a profound requalification. The intervention recommended here had as its main objective the qualification of the existing interior space, infrastructure it to ensure the conditions for promotion, enhancement and interpretation of the surrounding historical and monumental groups, as well as other elements of architectural and urban value of Mangualde.
The outdoor patio was also the object of qualification: the sidewalk’s stereotomy was redesigned, the rainwater drainage was corrected, and some physical constraints to the fluid accessibility and full enjoyment of this space were eliminated as an outdoor reception area for the reception space and the side access to the Igreja da Misericórdia.
«It is policies like these that more municipalities (and citizens) should follow. The urban environment implies authenticity and cannot be the result of top-down decisions. A building, a space, a public facility, a product or a service called “inclusive” or “for All”, necessarily guarantees a wider range of users, greater frequency of use, convenience of interaction and, in a more radically economic logic, a widening of the target market, of profit margins and of the reputation or public image of the product, service, institution or city as a whole.», notes the architect and urban planner, José António Lopes.